Lim is an expert in power training, but his coaching approach is often refreshingly candid. Here is a list of his training priorities and the order in which he applies them through the season, along with my commentary:
- Volume: establish an endurance base. – Base miles are vital to any program. Cycling is an endurance sport. Speed and power are built on an aerobic base.
- Maximize calories burned with a combination of volume and intensity usually at or near lactate threshold. Also, repeats of 10-30 minutes at an intensity that feels hard. – After you build an aerobic base with moderately paced miles, Lim suggests boosting the intensity to time trial pace. His preferred method: lengthy repeats embedded in long rides.
- Sustain the training volume and add short (10- to 15-second) very hard efforts. – Awaken fast-twitch muscle fibers with sprints spaced throughout longer rides.
- High-intensity interval work (2-5 minutes) at the end of long rides. – Most riders do interval workouts as part of a short ride: warm up, work hard and head home. Not Lim’s riders. They often ride 40 or 50 fairly hard miles before beginning lung-searing intervals. Why? Racing is hard. Training needs to be hard, too.
- Race. – Early-season races are for expanding fitness. Real goals come later.
- Lactate threshold surge work: high-intensity intermittent repeats of 2-10 minutes and motorpacing. – These tough workouts fine-tune fitness for specific events.
- More racing. – After all the previous months’ work, it’s payback time when you reap the benefits of top fitness.